The BJP national leadership has favoured K Surendran to head its Kerala unit. Party national president JP Nadda on Saturday announced the decision appointing Surendran as the State BJP president, after PS Sreedharan Pillai was made Mizoram Governor in October 2019.
Surendran, now state general secretary, had shot to prominence during the Sabarimala protests in 2018. There were a number of charges slapped on him. He had missed the chance to be state president earlier when Pillai was reinstated. According to party sources, Surendran was in the race along with MT Ramesh and did not have the backing of the RSS.
But since the local body polls are round the corner, the party hurriedly decided to appoint Surendran. Active in BJP politics since his school days, Surendran, at 40, becomes the youngest state president of the party. He unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha from the Kasaragod twice and also to the Assembly from Manjeshwaram. In the 2016 Assembly elections, he lost from Manjeshwaram by just 89 votes.
He lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too. It remains to be seen how he steers the faction-riddled state unit.